Recap of Maccabi Tel Aviv's 1:2 away win over Hapoel Jerusalem/Sport1
After it seemed that the right defender position at Maccabi Tel Aviv belonged to Ivan Masson and that the club was very pleased that they replaced André Geraldas with the French defender, Avishai Cohen recently conquered the position on the right side of the defense and he became one of Robbie Keane's bunkers. "My goal when I arrived was to get into a rhythm as quickly as possible, because I had a difficult summer," Cohen said over the weekend ahead of Maccabi Tel Aviv's game tonight (Sunday, 20 p.m., Sport00) against Bnei Sakhnin. "I'm happy to be at Maccabi Tel Aviv, happy to take the opportunity I got from the coach and happy to prove it on the pitch."
Ivan Masson's start was really promising. It seemed that it would be very difficult to take this position. How did this happen?
"I don't have to deal with which player there is and what position. There are excellent players here who are fighting for a place in the squad and in the lineup. I'm glad I got to play in the lineup and prove myself. As the coach always says: 'Whoever proves himself and takes the opportunity, will play.' I'm glad it happened to me."
In relation to Beitar Jerusalem, Maccabi Tel Aviv possesses the ball most of the time. How did you match the teams' style of play?
"I don't feel a problem. It's true that at Beitar we didn't hold the ball like that. I'm happy that I'm expressing myself up with the speed."
"I'm glad I got to play in the lineup and prove myself." Avishai Cohen/Official website, Maccabi Tel Aviv FC
You are 28 years old and finally you are also part of the Israeli national team. What caused the career to be delayed?
"I was a winger. Slobodan Drapić changed my role as a right-back and it took me a while to acclimatize to that role. Although the bloom came late, it is a blessing to reach Maccabi Tel Aviv and the Israeli national team. It's a dream come true for me and I want to stay at Maccabi Tel Aviv for many more years and fulfill myself."
How was the change in functioning?
"I feel more comfortable as a right-back. I come with the speed behind. On defense, I continue to work and want to upgrade that part because I didn't grow up as a defensive player."
Bnei Sakhnin made a big victory over Hapoel Be'er Sheva. It won't be easy for you just like it wasn't easy for you against Hapoel Jerusalem outside.
"Sakhnin is a very good team and the fact is that they really did a big win for Turner. We will have to be at the peak of readiness to take the points."
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"On defense, I continue to work and want to upgrade that part because I didn't grow up as a defensive player." Avishai Cohen/Ariel Shalom
There are players in other teams like Hapoel Be'er Sheva who say they don't have a head for football. I guess it's easier when you win here at Maccabi Tel Aviv, but how do you deal with what's happening in the country and the hard news every day?
"We as a country have to deal with the difficulty and continue with the routine. There is no doubt that it is a very difficult situation to play football after October 7. It's something that will never be forgotten. We went through a great disaster. We wake up every morning to announce our fallen in Gaza. My teenage teacher at Eretz Hatzvi High School in Jerusalem also fell and I took it very hard. I also had friends who were murdered at a party. We want to show the world that we don't break."
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